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Coach searching for future Wallabies

By Darren Walton 28/11/2009 12:09:17 PM Comments (0)

Robbie Deans will continue tapping into Australia's rugby sevens talent pool in the hope of unearthing more potential Wallabies following the emergence of young guns Richard Kingi and Luke Morahan on the spring tour of Japan and the British Isles.

With basic skill levels steadily dropping since rugby turned professional in 1996, as players spend equal time in the gym as on the training paddock working on the fundamentals, Deans has identified sevens as a genuine nursery for future internationals.

The faster, more dynamic version of the game offers players the chance to hone their skills in a competitive, pressure-filled environment.

"It's got all the all elements around the disciplines: conditioning, big-game temperament; players play at venues in front of big crowds," Deans said on the eve of Australia's tour-ending Test against Wales in Cardiff.

"It's got the touring element. It's got the accountability because you're a lot more isolated in sevens; you miss a tackle, you make a mistake in sevens, you turn over a ball and you often suffer quickly.

"And the skill level; if you lack a skill in sevens, it's very evident.

"It's just a great backdrop in preparation."

As second-half replacements, Australian sevens teammates Kingi, 20, and Morahan, 19, combined beautifully for a late try as the Wallabies claimed victory over Cardiff on Tuesday night.

With a step and a swerve, Kingi sliced through before delivering a clever pass to send Morahan sprinting away for a dream five-pointer with his first touch of the ball in a Wallabies jumper.

"They gravitated towards each other," Deans noted.

"No doubt sevens will become more and more of a breeding ground for us. It already has been.

"But, with the Olympics and the investment that we put into that program, it will become a genuine pathway. It offers so much."

Rugby sevens and golf were last month confirmed as the latest two sports accepted into the Olympic program and will debut at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Morahan was drafted into the Wallabies's squad only last week following a string of injuries to outside backs, after finishing as Australia's leading tryscorer in the 2008-09 world sevens series.

He is among three squad members to emerge from the sevens circuit in the last 12 months, along with Kingi and exciting teenager James O'Connor, who celebrated his maiden Test start this year with a spectacular tryscoring hat-trick against Italy in Canberra.

The trio are among nine spring tour squad members to have successfully made their way into the Wallabies fold via the sevens program.

Matt Giteau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Peter Hynes, Drew Mitchell, Richard Brown and Matt Hodgson also all made their names in the sevens arena before starring for the Wallabies, while current skills coach Richard Graham is a former Australian sevens captain.

Deans said he would attend the Adelaide Sevens in March and possibly other tournaments on the IRB calendar in a bid to discover even more future Wallabies.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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